Every 5 years, or so, NACHaS reevaluates all the curricula that are appropriate for schools of our size, often choosing a different one based on our current Rabbi, our current students, and our current needs. Over the last 20 years, NACHaS and its predecessor, TBS Religious School, have used various curricula including ISJL (as one of the original pilot programs in 2003), Chai, and most recently, Shalom Learning.
We are delighted to return to our roots again this year with our purchase of an updated and comprehensive Judaics curriculum via the Institute for Southern Jewish Life (ISJL).
ISJL provides a spiraled Judaics curriculum in which students revisit key content areas with increasing sophistication as they progress through their education. These content areas include:
- Community / Relationship building
- Culture & Symbols
- Jewish Lifecycle Events
- Mitzvot and Jewish Values
- Jewish Holidays
- Hebrew & Prayer
- TaNaKh (Torah, Prophets, and Writings)
- Jewish History
Our Hebrew curriculum begins with common vocabulary and some basic letter recognition in the early grades, which is integrated within Judaics sessions. For 4th grade and up, supplementary Hebrew classes will now be offered on Sunday mornings following Judaics.
The 4th grade class begins with a Primer level that focuses on alef-bet decoding and reading fluency. 5th-7th grade classes will use the Hineni series with leveled sets of prayers, blessings, and songs that are used in Shabbat Services and at home.
This liturgy-based Hebrew program forms the core elements of B’nai Mitzvah preparation, to be supplemented in 7th grade by individually focused efforts on Torah and Haftarah portions, mitzvah projects, and other expectations elucidated by Rabbis at each congregation.